Islam is sometimes represented by fierce Islamic militant or religiously intolerant people on TV
Muslims come from many social and cultural backgrounds and have varied opinions about many subjects. As we have indicated elsewhere in our prayer material, the vast majority of Muslims are basically decent people seeking to make a living and give hope for tomorrow to their children. While Islamic radicals often steal the TV headlines around the world, there are many voices for moderation, reasonable approaches to life, modernity and openness in the Arab Muslim World.
Outside the Middle East most people may not have heard of Amr Khaled, Mustafa Hosni, Moez Masoud, or Ahmad al-Shugairi. However these men have a significant TV following in the Arab world through Middle Eastern Television and the web. Amr Khaled’s influence for moderate and practical Islam has been compared to the North American evangelical preacher Rick Warren. He was 13th in the list of Time magazine’s 100 most influential people of the year in 2006. Amr Khaled has said, “Bin Laden is saying he is talking on behalf of Muslims, who asked him to talk on behalf of us? Nobody.” Khaled even extended an olive branch to the Danes during the 2006 Islamic cartoons crisis. He has said, “During Ramadan, I love family gatherings over food, over laughter … Believe me, a family gathering over laughter is very important. Just like in the summer we admire the beauty of nature, in Ramadan we admire the beauty of the night … One of the beautiful things in Ramadan is that my wife and I pray the nightly prayers together.”
Moez Masoud has often spoken out for sincerity and really trying to understand people from other faiths. He has written: “I’m pretty much dedicating my life to a deeper and more profound understanding between human beings, the children of Adam. I actually named my son Adam just so that I could never be distracted from the goal.”
God knows the hearts of all men. The values exhibited in their TV programming sometimes reflect the values of the kingdom. It is possible that Jesus would say to several of the people mentioned above: “You are not far from the kingdom of God” (Mark 12:34). To others he might say “One thing you lack …” (Luke 18:22) It is also possible that these men are extremely far from the kingdom indeed, God knows.
- Pray that God will continue to use everything which is good and positive from these men to change Middle Eastern society for the better. May they and their listeners discover the Lord in a profound way, He is the giver life (John 10:10).
- Believers in the Messiah in the Middle East have often been oppressed under Islam. Pray for an explosion of new spiritual life among believers across the entire Middle East which will enable them to be a channel of life for Muslims desiring sincerity, depth and real life with God.